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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 25, 2017 2:00pm-2:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm annita mcveigh. the headlines: ukip's only mp, douglas carswell, confirms he's standing down from the party but will stay on as an independent mp. he says he's achieved his main objective with the party, we can be certain that brexit is in good hands. we are going to leave and all of the things that vote leave campaigned for are going to come to pass. it's wonderful. two men remain in custody as investigations continue into the westminster terror attack. it's emerged khalid masood sent whatsapp messages moments before he carried out the attack. also in the next hour, celebrating 60 years since the beginning of the european union. leaders from 27 member countries, minus the united kingdom, mark the anniversary of the treaty of rome by renewing their commitment to a common future. in sport, it's pole position for lewis hamilton. he dominates formula one qualifying in melbourne, ahead of the season opening australian grand prix. and, ahead of the triggering
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of article 50, we'll look at how scotland is coping with brexit and what it may mean for the future of the united kingdom. that's in europe: scotland's dilemma at 2.30pm. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the uk independence party's only mp, douglas carswell, has announced he's leaving the party. in a statement on his website, mr carswell said that he was quitting ukip in the knowledge that his goal of leaving the european union had been achieved. he will now be sitting as an independent mp. a little earlier my colleague reeta chakra barti spoke to mr ca rswell and began
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by asking him why he made the decision to leave the party. on wednesday theresa may announces that she's triggering article 50, ukip, my party, we were set up 23 yea rs ukip, my party, we were set up 23 years ago to get us out of the european union, job done, we have won. is that the only reason for ukip‘s existence, many would say ukip‘s existence, many would say ukip isa ukip‘s existence, many would say ukip is a much biggerforce than that. obviously, when you get into politics and people are elected to do things there are all sorts of things you can convince yourself you are there to do. but, you know, i think the fundamental reason for ukip, certainly the reason i made that switch and the reasons why i think millions of people around the country made the switch to ukip, was over the europe question. we can be sure now, we can be absolutely certain that brexit is in good hands. we are going to leave. all of the things that vote leave campaigned for are going to come to pass, it's wonderful. this is a moment for celebration. you are doing this a few days before the prime minister triggers article 50. starting that period of negotiation
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that will lead to the withdrawal, why have you done it now?” that will lead to the withdrawal, why have you done it now? i thought of maybe doing it a couple of days after, then i thought it's momentous, wonderful news, i thought actually saying it now might allow context. i want people to go on to my blog and read what i have said. i avoided putting something in a newspaper or briefing a journalist, i thought write it on my blog, first of all see if anyone reads my blog, it took them a while. they're reading. let people what i have said in my words, i want people to understand, for me getting out of the european union is so important, i care so passionately about it, i was prepared to change parties, trigger by—elections, it's happening in three days' time. it's wonderful. what is going to happen now, because you say that you are going to sit as an independent mp without triggering an independent mp without triggering a by—election. you can do that, technically, but morally should you be doing that? if i was switching party i would without question call a by—election. i know that because i was the first mp in i think 26 years
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to do that. no one makes you, but i felt when i was a conservative and wa nted felt when i was a conservative and wanted tojoin felt when i was a conservative and wanted to join ukip felt when i was a conservative and wanted tojoin ukip i felt a moral obligation. a democratic obligation to do that. but i am not switching parties now. i am not changing, i am not crossing the floor, i am going to still sit in opposition. i am going to be holding the government to account. if you entered a world in which you would automatically have a by—election if you left a party, farfrom have a by—election if you left a party, far from empowering constituencies that would strengthen party bosses so i think this is entirely right, entirely consistent with the principles of direct democracy and i have sat for election four times and won four times andi election four times and won four times and i am now without having the party hierarchy able to focus entirely on meeting my constituents' needs. there are people within ukip who say you really should stand for re—election, you were elected with ukip support, ukip leaflets and support behind you. surely you
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should? there are always going to be one or two people who don't reciprocate the goodwill and amicable feelings i have for the party, i wish them well and have respect for those people i met in ukip, they're the heros ofjune 23rd. there are always going to be one or two who perhaps won't take yes for an answer. look, we are in this business for one reason, getting out of the eu, that's happening on wednesday, let's not snipe at each other. if you want to be angry with the modern world, find something else to be angry about. let's be clear, you will not stand down to trigger a by—election?|j let's be clear, you will not stand down to trigger a by-election? i am not calling a by—election, i am not changing parties, so i have no need to. if i was tojoin changing parties, so i have no need to. if i was to join the conservatives, not that i am a good conservative, but if i was to join the conservatives, then of course i would call a by—election but i am not. you have no intention of joining the conservatives? theresa may has done a fantasticjob, her trajectory is spot on. 2020 is a
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long time away, let's wait and see but i am not going tojoin the conservatives as mp for clacton. you have said in your blog and said now that you are leaving ukip, it's amiacable, friendly, but we all know that relations between you and the leader, previous leadership of ukip, nigel farage, their backer have been anything but amicable. how much has that influenced your decision?” rarely made any big decisions in politics with reference to either of those two individuals and their priorities. my decision to trigger a by—election was in order to make sure we got a referendum. my decision to back vote leave was in order to make sure that the right people ran the right sort of campaign. when i called the by—election and celebrated the victory in the clacton by—election i talked about the need for a euro september sichl that appealed to all britain and all britons and i feel very much that you win in politics from parish councils to referendums but being positive and optimistic. i listened to all sorts of criticism
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and advice from some people who were perhaps, you know, take a different view. i wish them well. douglas ca rswell view. i wish them well. douglas carswell doing a first television interview since announcing he was quitting ukip. with me for more on this is our political correspondent matt cole. first of all the claim that this was an amicable split, a lot of people will be raising a sceptical eyebrow over that. indeed, one might wonder how amicable it is, given when i phoned ukip to ask for a reaction i was breaking the news. one wonders how cheerful it can be if he didn't tell ukip he was going. certainly there has been huge animosity between him and the most senior figures in ukip for sometime. nigel farage in the last half hour tweeting that carswell went before he was pushed. there is no love lost between those two men at all. certainly there are others who have
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been expressing their delight. one mp that carswell is going. some are adamant that he was always a tory, and they're saying he is delight — they're delighted and they're saying he is delight — they‘ re delighted he and they're saying he is delight — they're delighted he is going. they might be glad to see the back of the man, they won't be delighted to lose their only mp. four million people voted for ukip, only one mp. now they've none. you touched on reaction there. have we heard from the likes of aaron banks? there is a smiley face placed on twitter by him. aaron banks has been until recently the moneyman behind ukip. a big donor indeed. many would say they're only major donor. he is very close to nigel farage but in recent days has parted ways with the party. therefore, that underlines how there's been growing fraction and those close to the current leader. there is this question over the
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future of ukip for paul nuttall. he is going to have to take the party forward without an mp. difficulties arriving at a new leader towards the end of last year and is ukip actually finished now as a political force, that's a question lots are asking? indeed, it was interesting that our colleague in speaking to douglas carswell did try to pin him down on his thoughts as to the future of ukip. at the start he kept talking about it being his party, it isn't any more. i thought it interesting that he never at any point gave a straight answer that said yes ukip has a future. he gave diverting and interesting answers about the future of politics and maybe getting a new form of politics, not involving parties, even mentioned david cameron's old advisor steve hilton, but in terms of the future of ukip he didn't speu of the future of ukip he didn't spell out what he thought it was
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leading some to wonder whether he agrees with those who say that now the european union referendum has been won for getting out, maybe ukip doesn't have that future. i am sure ukip would disagree. but carswell wasn't singing the future. a former head of the metropolitan police has called for changes to security at westminster following wednesday's terror attack. former chief constable lord blair said there should be a review of the arming of officers. two men from birmingham continue to be questioned by police in connection with the attack. the scramble of armed police in the aftermath of the westminster attack. new video taken by a taxi driver shows how marksmen swooped on parliament from all directions. this footage shows medical equipment being thrown to those treating the unarmed pc keith palmer. but it was to know avail. but it was to no avail.
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now, one former police chief in charge during the london bombings 12 years ago, believes security at westminster needs to be tightened. i'm certain that there will be a review now of the kind of outer soft rim, always behind it is the inner core of armed officers, but pc keith palmer has paid for his life for that soft outer rim and i think his family at least and everybody else needs the reassurance that that will be reviewed. the picture emerging of the killer, khalid masood, is confused. a man described by some as charming, also had a long history of violence. we know three minutes before he launched his deadly attack, he checked messages on his phone. counter—terror police will be desperate to know who he was last in contact with. the key question — why did khalid masood strike at westminster has still not been answered. it is not clear if someone radicalised him here in the uk while he was in saudi arabia or maybe during his three spells in prison.
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but senior scotland yard officers tell me they are more concerned about the risk of people being brainwashed behind bars here than from jihadis returning from abroad. 15 people from the attack are still in hospital. two of them critical. a website set up in memory of pc keith palmer has raised almost £750,000. among the victims were a young romanian couple, andrea and andrei on a city break in london. andrea was knocked off westminster bridge into the thames when the attacker drove along the pavement. she is still seriously injured in a london hospital. our correspondent nick thorpe sent this report from the couple's home town of constanta on the romanian black sea coast. many romanians have strong connections to britain as a place to live, work or go on holiday.
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today there's also a strong sense of solidarity as they follow the fate of two of their fellow citizens, so tragically caught up in the london attack. simone is a work colleague of andrei's. like the couple, she lives here in constanta — the city famous for its black sea port and fine architecture. like them, she is a frequent visitor to london and even has a picture on her phone of herself on westminster bridge with her family. translation: they were in london on a city break to celebrate his birthday. he was planning to ask her to marry him. it was going to be the most important moment in their lives. in this iconic place, in london. the start of their new life together. we romanians are very grateful for all the help andrei and andrea have received. we would especially like to thank the doctors and nurses and all the medical staff for everything they're doing to help them.
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come home safe and sound to get married here in constanta. we are waiting for you! the seafront here in constanta, with its old casino, is a favourite place for young couples to celebrate their wedding. millions of romanians are hoping that one day soon andrea and andrei will be walking the path here, too. a statement from the leader of ukip in response to the news that douglas ca rswell is in response to the news that douglas carswell is quitting ukip to sit as an independent, paul nuttall says ca rswell has announced an independent, paul nuttall says carswell has announced he is resigning, he has said he is doing this cheerfully and amicably. this is not a surprise he goes on. i have
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had many discussions with key players to try and make that chap. but it had become increasingly clear to me that some changes were simply beyond reach. he goes on, douglas was genuinely committed to brexit but was never a comfortable ukiper. looking through the rest of this statement from paul nuttall, he says, with this in mind his departure will make no difference to my ability or focus on delivering the reforms i promised when elected as leader. he talks about redefining ukip's mission, that of course as lots of people are raising questions about the future of ukip with the departure of douglas carswell and the statement from paul nuttall ends with the words, we now have an opportunity to put behind us the most damaging internal conflict which has dogged us over the past year. that's reaction to douglas ca rswell year. that's reaction to douglas carswell quitting from the party leader paul nuttall. more throughout the afternoon. president trump says he'll now
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switch his focus to tax reform after failing to scrap barack obama's health reforms, one of his key election promises. the bill to overturn obamacare was withdrawn on friday because of a lack of support within his own republican party. our correspondent laura bicker is in washington. hello to you, it was as we pointed out one of president trump's key election pledges. the fact he couldn't get rid of obamacare when the republicans control both houses of congress must be a huge blow? well, when you look at it he tried to blame the democrats. but republicans control the house. they control the senate, they role the white house. the major levers of power here in washington. and still they could not get the job done. what was the problem? well, those within the party just what was the problem? well, those within the partyjust simply couldn't agree. those on the left of the party hated the idea. those on the party hated the idea. those on the right of the party hated the idea. for some it went too far. for
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others, they didn't go far enough. so bringing those two sides together required the ultimate diplomat, it required the ultimate diplomat, it required the ultimate deal—maker, you would think. donald trump has sold himself as the — during the campaign, as the man who would get things done in washington. but it seems he has oversold his ability as a salesman because when it comes to politics he couldn't persuade them to get thejob politics he couldn't persuade them to get the job done. do you think this is more about divisions over obamacare within republican members of congress, rather than any issues between them and donald trump? of congress, rather than any issues between them and donald trump7m of congress, rather than any issues between them and donald trump? it is more about republicans being unable to come together. paul ryan said yesterday in trying to blame it on growing pains, for the last eight yea rs growing pains, for the last eight years republicans have had to oppose democratic policies, they've had to say we don't like that, we are not going to vote for it. now they've to come together and find a way to agree with one another and there's
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so agree with one another and there's so many factions within this one party and they all represent competing districts. when it comes to healthcare as the president himself said, who knew it could be so himself said, who knew it could be so complicated ? himself said, who knew it could be so complicated? they've now got to move on to something equally as complicated, and that is tax reform. again, many of them will represent their own districts. how they're going to come together and find a way on tax reform when they couldn't on the one pledge they've made for the last seven years will be very difficult. it's going to be a difficult. it's going to be a difficult dealfor difficult. it's going to be a difficult deal for president trump to make but make no bones about it, if he fails a second time, it will be increasingly embarrassing. so the pressure on him certainly. as for healthcare, we stay with the status quo s that right? that's right. obamacare, quo s that right? that's right. obamaca re, healthca re quo s that right? that's right. obamacare, healthcare remains the same. after the pledge that president trump made at every rally to repeal and replace obamacare within the first 100 days of his office, it's a key pledge that he has failed on, his first major
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legislative hurdle and he has failed tojump it. legislative hurdle and he has failed to jump it. when legislative hurdle and he has failed tojump it. when it comes to bamcare 110w tojump it. when it comes to bamcare now it will remain in place but that causes problems as they move on to tax reform. because they were relying on the tax breaks they would get from repealing obamacare to build on that block for their major reforms on tax. so, they're going to be going back to the drawing board on that, as well. thank you very much. the headlines on bbc news. ukip's only mp is standing down from the party but will stayen on as an independent mp. two men remain in custody as investigations continue into the westminster terror attack. it's emerged khalid masood sent m essa 9 es it's emerged khalid masood sent messages moments before he carried out the attack. leaders from 27 eu countries gather to mark the 60th anniversary of the treaty of rome as theresa may
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prepares to formally declare the uk's intention to leave the club. thousands of people are in london for another protest against the uk leaving the eu. the prime minister, theresa may, is triggering article 50, which will start the process for leaving the eu, on wednesday. marchers held a minute's silence at the start of the demonstration in memory of the victims of the terror attack at westminster. joining me from there now is the lib dem leader tim farron. we can talk about events there today and the departure of douglas carswell from ukip. on the march, do you feel it isa vain ukip. on the march, do you feel it is a vain protest, we are days away from theresa may triggering article 50? well, we are a few days away from theresa may beginning the
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process of negotiating a deal that will define, not just process of negotiating a deal that will define, notjust our relationship with europe in the next couple of generations, but also perhaps how well—off we are as a country, how powerful we are as a country. that deal that we will get at the end of that, no one know what is it will look like, and our view is it will look like, and our view is simply this, that theresa may is not enact the will of the people. taking us out of the single market was never on the ballot paper, it was never on the ballot paper, it was never on the ballot paper, it was never something people were asked their view about. this extreme version of brexit is likely to divide the country. i am here on the most peaceful and good—mannered demonstration i think london has ever seen to put forward the case for a better way forward, a better deal and a better outcome for britain. but on brexit, douglas ca rswell has britain. but on brexit, douglas carswell has been saying that theresa may's strategy is spot on. first of all, on his departure from ukip, you were tweeting today, his
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quitting shows ukip now has no purpose. what do you think the future is for the party? well, my senseis future is for the party? well, my sense is that theresa may, bless her, is now basically ukip's leader. she's somebody notjust taking us out of the european union but out of the single market, even nigel farrage didn't ask for that over the last 20 years. i am asking you about whether ukip has a future essentially at this stage with ca rswell‘s depart future? essentially at this stage with carswell's depart future? the tory party has taken their place in the market. they are now a protectionist party against free trade, isolationist and not internationalist. so, that is what ukip were. that's what the tory party is. so, i think the leaving of ukip by carswell is a prompt maybe for those people in the conservative party who still do believe in a market and free trade and believe
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that we should tackle climate change and internationalism system a sensible thing to do and as cars well found out if your party leaves you, you should leave your party. my message to moderate conservatives who are probusiness, time is up now, your party doesn't exist any more. you need to leave. i hope you can hear me, i appreciate it's difficult with the noise in the background, don't you think now that many people are saying that theresa may is leading that character towards brexit, it's going to make it harder for the likes of yourselves and the lib dense and other people who would have remained to fight back against that? no, i think have remained to fight back against that? no, ithink what have remained to fight back against that? no, i think what happens now is that a negotiation will begin with our colleagues in the european union and let's just see what's going to happen. the deal that we have to live with for the next couple of generations which will be delighted in the next two years will be decided in that 21st century equivalent of smoke—filled rooms in
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brussels and a few here. we will end up brussels and a few here. we will end up living with a brussels stitch—up u nless up living with a brussels stitch—up unless the liberal democrats get our way, that the british people have a final say in way, that the british people have a finalsay ina way, that the british people have a final say in a referendum. the only thing to be decided now really is whether the politicians here at westminster and in brussels decide our future, westminster and in brussels decide ourfuture, or westminster and in brussels decide our future, or whether the people get the final say. so we are defiant, respectful but defiant, saying the people must have the final say. ukip and the tories effectively merging makes our case all the more strongly because moderate people normally support the conservatives must understand their party now no longer exists. thank you very much. let's get reaction to that right now. and the news of douglas carswell's departure. don't know if you were able to hear tim farron say now that theresa may is effectively the leader of ukip, that the conservatives have taken over your territory, what's your reaction to that? it couldn't be more wrong. the
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point about theresa may, as we all know, she often speaks very tough, but then absolutely doesn't deliver, like she didn't deliver on immigration for her time, six years as home secretary. i think that our role in ukip is about as vital, if not more vital than it's ever been now and we are starting on a new era as we start these negotiations and i think that ukip are going to be right there at the very front setting the agenda. it must be a huge blow to lose your only mp?” wouldn't actually call it a big blow at all, actually. a blow then, if not a huge blow? i mean, the fact is that the people who voted for ukip and voted all the way along for ukip didn't really vote for ukip because ca rswell was didn't really vote for ukip because carswell was there, he has been a semidetached person for a long time with the party. this is rather a
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nice breath of fresh air that... symbolically, though, very important to have a member of parliament in the house of commons behind you. well, it is if it's somebody who is utterly with you as a party. but i think that douglas was never really co mforta ble think that douglas was never really comfortable in ukip, that's now been made clear and of course we look forward very much to him obviously being a man of principle to have a by—election and we will look forward very much to fighting the seat. he says there is not going to be a by—election. says there is not going to be a by-election. he did. right, the fact is he made quite a big fuss when he came over to ukip of actually standing as a man of honour in his seat and trying to get re—election soi seat and trying to get re—election so i think the same should apply here. the point is that douglas can go on his merry way but the fact it makes almost no difference to us at
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all. he says that this departure is amicable. a lot of people are feeling sceptical about that. was it amicable? well, the fact is that douglas was due to come to our national executive committee on monday to answer some questions, he hadn't been for a long time. a lot of people wanted to ask him a lot of questions about some of his state m e nts questions about some of his statements and actions, alleged actions, and, you know, ithink possibly this is a case ofjumping before you are pushed. but whatever it is, the fact is that we have never been more united as a party with our great new leader and this really will actually, if you like, draw a line under something which has caused nothing but trouble really for us. did he tell either yourself or paul nuttall that he was going to leave, he certainly announced it on his website but did he tell you in person before he announced it publicly? douglas has a lwa ys announced it publicly? douglas has always acted very much alone. and i think that was a case this time. so,
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asi think that was a case this time. so, as i said, i think that in terms of our party, as you said today, it's been this sort of strange fantasy demonstration going on with brexit, we are going to be right there at the forefront of these negotiations. this is our main concern and building what we hope to be a good future for the party and indeed obviously for the country and so thatis obviously for the country and so that is our main priority now. we can do that with a clearer vision now. deputy leader of ukip, peter whittle, thank you very much. let's look at the weather forecast. a beautiful day, if blustery out there, i think. yeah, british summer time starts tomorrow but it feels like summer right now, particularly across the east of scotland. temperatures there have hit 19c yes, 19c already. beautiful day out there for the vast majority of us. not all, the far northern isles are cloudier and cooler. there is a
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brisk wind across the south and this evening temperatures will fall away quickly. if you are heading out this evening it will feel chilly because those clear skies allow the heat to escape into space. mid—single figures and in rural spots of the northern half of the uk will see frost, just as last night. but any mist and low cloud will vanish in the morning, another stunning day and lots of sunshine. still a breeze across southern areas, you will notice that. it won't feel all that warm, but for the vast majority it will feel delightful. low to mid—teens will be tillical with temperatures. hottest, probably the western highlands. slowly through next week things turn more showery. that's it, backin things turn more showery. that's it, back in half an hour. ukip's leader paul nuttall has described the decision
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by the party's only mp—— douglas ca rswell —— to leave the party as no surprise. mr carswell says he'll remain in the commons sitting as an independent mp for clacton. li on wednesday theresa may announces that she's triggering article 50. my party was set up 23 yea rs article 50. my party was set up 23 years ago, job done. two men from birmingham, in question connection with the westminster terror attack. police are still trying to establish whether the attacker khalid masood acted alone. european leaders have marked the sixtieth anniversary of the treaty that founded what became the eu. the 27 leaders signed a new rome declaration. theresa may wasn' there, as the anniversary comes days before she'll trigger article 50. sydney was one of the first cities in the world to mark

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